Jacopo M. Raule
After years wondering if the AmFAR Gala would recapture its buzz—things were damaged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal—we can report that things have returned to form, thanks to the presence of the new Aston Martin DB12 in its halo colour of Iridescent Emerald.
The right to own the first customer model was auctioned at the 29th AmFAR Gala at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc for US$1·6 million (€1·5 million), with the grand tourer presented on the evening by Eva Longoria and James Marsden.
Other celebrities present included Alessandra Ambrósio, Sara Sampaio, Bianca Balti, Heidi Klum, Stella Maxwell, Rebel Wilson, Fan Bingbing, Queen Latifah, Amy Jackson and Ed Westwick, and athlete Alica Schmidt.
Aston Martin was presenting sponsor of the 29th Cannes gala.
Kevin Robert Frost, CEO of AmFAR, said, ‘We’re immensely grateful for their generous donation of this spectacular DB12 for our live auction. This phenomenal sports car was a highlight of the gala and the auction proceeds will give an important boost to our efforts to develop a cure for HIV.’
Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said, ‘Aston Martin is thrilled to have supported the AmFAR Gala Cannes. In addition to showcasing the generosity of AmFAR attendees, the incredible amount raised through this charity auction highlights the excitement for the new DB12 and the unique ultra-luxury and high-performance aspects of this model that elevate it well beyond the current GT category.’
The car will be hand-delivered to the winning bidder. It features a number of touches, including a special badge on its wings marking Aston Martin’s 110th anniversary, and special headrest embroidery. There is also a plaque on the cabin sill marking it as the first car.
The owner can choose to have Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One team drivers Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso sign the engine cover.
The car enjoyed its official première at Cannes on May 24 at the same venue, attended by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, Tobey Maguire, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Queen Latifah, Adam Lambert, Winnie Harlow, Lais Riberio, Alessandra Ambrósio, and Poppy Delevingne, with live performances by Rina Sawayama and DJ Peggy Gou.
The DB12 features a 4·0-litre twin-turbo V8, developing 680 PS with a maximum torque of 800 Nm. Maximum speed is 325 km/h. The engine is sourced from Mercedes AMG but develops more power than it did in the outgoing DB11. There is a new suspension design with adjustable dampers and stiffer anti-roll bars, along with an electronic rear differential. Electronic stability control is standard.
Inside, there is a marked improvement on the DB11, with an in-house-developed infotainment system and the latest technology—for a car of this class, one should not put up with hand-me-downs.
Official launchAndreas Rentz; David M. Benett